January 27, 2008

YUI Style Glowing Buttons with the AjaxControlToolkit GlowButtonExtender Control

YUI recently added another button type to their control library - they call it the Glowing Button Control.  The Glowing Button Control allows you to add a glossy, glass like effect to your buttons along with a glowing background.  The YUI documentation says the inspiration for the design came from the Aqua buttons found in Mac OS X.  Below is a progression of screen shots that try to show the glowing effect, but you should really check out their demo page to get the full effect.       A project I am working on could use something like this to liven up a few of our screens.  We are prototyping a new design for our landing screen and of course we want it to be as sexy as possible.  The purpose of the landing screen is to let the user know about what our product is about and have them sign...

January 20, 2008

Profiling LINQ to SQL using the DataContext.Log Property

Lately, I have been playing around with ASP.NET's new LinqDataSource.  Most of my data resides in a SQL Server database, so I always configure the LinqDataSource to work with the LINQ to SQL DataContext and Entity objects.  These components are still pretty new to be, so I am still kind of in awe at how it all works together so seamlessly.  I guess maybe I am a little paranoid, but I don't like that using LINQ to SQL seems like magic.  Sooner or later something is not going to work, and I am going to have to figure out why that is.  Maybe it's a performance problem, maybe it's a data integrity issue, but sooner or later I am going to have to understand (at least a little bit) about how LINQ to SQL works so I can effectively debug my problem.  I found that displaying the SQL statements the...

January 18, 2008

Creating a FrequencyDecoder.com Style Grid with the ListView, DataPager and LinqDataSource Controls

One of the projects I am working on is on the verge of failure.  For a while now the writing has been on wall, but this was the week that everyone finally realized it.  Its a rotten feeling and I hate it.  So to cheer myself up and to keep the creative juices flowing I thought I would play around a little bit with ASP.NET 3.5's new ListView, DataPager and LinqDataSource controls.  A while back, I came across a really nice looking data grid that I wanted to create a ListView skin for.  Besides the nice soft blue color scheme, I liked the data grid's sorting icons, all caps headers, alternating row styles as well as the simple text-based data pager.  So I used the ListView and DataPager controls to build the visual elements of the data grid and used the LinqDataSource to source the grids data.  I have written...

January 14, 2008

Five AjaxControlToolkit Tab Themes created from DynamicDrive.com

I found a few images on dynamicdrive.com and thought they would make a nice theme for the AjaxControlToolkit's Tab control.  Check out the live demo page to see if it is something you can use.  If it is - help yourself to the download. Live Demo (IE6, IE7 and FF) | Download If you haven't worked with theming the Tab control before, here are a few links ... Creating a YUI TabView Style Theme for the AjaxControlToolkit's TabContainer Control More Sample AjaxControlToolkit TabContainer Themes ... Using CSS Image Sprites with the XP Themed TabContainer JQuery TabContainer Theme with Tab Transition Animations Dev.Opera.com Style TabContainer Theme Below are the style rules I used for these tabs.  And here are the rules for the red tab.  The rules for all of the other colored tabs are exactly the same, only the background image url changes. That's it.  Enjoy!...

January 10, 2008

Building a Grouping Grid with the ASP.NET 3.5 LinqDataSource and ListView Controls

I haven't played too much with ASP.NET 3.5's new LinqDataSource control yet - so I figured it was about time I did a little research and checked it out.  Typically, I like to document my research by creating a small prototype application focused on a handful of the new features that I am investigating.  I find building a reference application is helpful because it tends to drive out some of those nasty implementation details that somehow remain hidden if I just browse the documentation or read a reference book.  So for a recent research project, I decided I would look into the LinqDataSource's control GroupBy and OrderGroupBy attributes to see if they could be used to help me build a grid that supports grouping.  Below is the final screen shot for my reference application.  The grid shows the rows in the Northwind Orders table - grouped by the customer that...

January 06, 2008

CNN Style Scrolling Ticker with the Marquee Toolkit Control

I was browsing ajaxrain's catalog yesterday and I cam across a pretty nifty jquery plugin called liScroll that allows you to turn an ordinary HTML UL/LI into a scrolling ticker.  Besides scrolling the items from right to left, the liScroll plugin supports two additional features It allows you to specify the scrolling speed by changing the value of the travelocity parameter The scrolling automatically pauses when you mouse over it After seeing the liScroll demo, I was certain that this was something I could use for some of the sites I am working on.  So I decided to see what it would take to implement a scrolling ticker control using the AJAX Control Toolkit.  In addition to the liScroll features listed above, I also wanted to incorporate a few other enhancements, including Support both left-to-right and right-to-left scrolling directions Support applying a CSS class to the item when it is...


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